Tell us about yourself and your music
I was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. I am the oldest of three children on my father’s side. I am a Puerto Rican descendant. I moved to Chicago (where I currently live) when I was 12 years old after my father’s 2nd marriage. I took up music when I was 14 years old. I started writing songs when I was about 15 (have writing ever since). I have been a performer for over 25 years. I am currently in the Chicago-based band Class Reunion which I formed with 2 ex-classmates from high school. I am also president of an underground recording studio called Class Records, which I run with my bass player JAD (real name: Jonathan A. Demas). I am the principle songwriter of the band. My influences are Elvis (this can be seen in some of my singing) and the Beatles (this can be seen in my songwriting and some of my playing and singing). I am told that I, along with the band, have a nostalgic-like sound.
Talk to us more about your latest release
I currently don’t have a release. I haven’t recorded anything of my own since 2001. The band and I recorded a CD called “Tell it to the People” in 2015, which was finished last year, but it’s not on any websites.
What inspired you to write this release?
Jon and I agreed to do a story-telling-like CD, and so we put together about 12 original songs that sort of tell stories.
Any plans to release a video?
We have a few videos from the album that we’ve recorded during live performances.
Any plans to hit the road?
For the moment, we’ve doing Open-Mics at a place called Muggs-n-Manor in Addison, IL. WE have been approached to do a paying some time this year, we’ve just have to get all the members on board.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I wouldn’t necessarily put a brand on my music because I never know what’s going to come out of me. Most of my songs have a little Country, a little Rock-n-Roll, a little Latin, it depends on what comes out of my mouth and the chords I play. As for my music standing out, many of our listeners say we have a nostalgic-like sound. I’ve had people tell me I remind them of Elvis (by the way I sing) or John Lennon (by the way I play guitar and sing). Some people have compared us to classic rock like the Yardbirds.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to My Chemical Romance (a friend’s daughter got me hooked), 3 Doors Down, Green Day, Tim McGraw, Lady Gaga (don’t tell anyone…hahahaha), Miley Cyrus and a whole lot others, new and old.
Tell us about your passions
Besides music, my passion is teaching. I was an ESL Tutor (I majored in Education in college) for a couple of years for Hispanic Adults wanting to learn English. I also tutor grade school kids, when necessary. I also have a passion of helping others. Besides college, I also went to the Bible Institute and graduated from a three-year course of General Bible Studies and a year of Christian Counseling (which I would like to pursue).
What else is happening next in your world?
Just living day by day. As long as I wake up in the morning, I’m great. I would like to go around the preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and helping those in need.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Mark!
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